Not every story needs to have a clear reason behind it, but therein lies the problem with Book of Death: Fall of Bloodshot: a bunch of vignettes from Bloodshot's future life does not a story make. So, who cares? I'm serious, who cares about how Bloodshot dies? Let me tell you something you might not have realized: death is uninteresting. It's one of the few things that literally everybody does. The plot of this comic--and I promise I'm not spoiling anything for you, I'm explaining this book as advertised--is that we glimpse into Bloodshot's future and see how he dies.
But if it's not part of a story that I am invested in, then I have no reason to care! Of course he dies! This book is a really bad omen for the rest of the Fall of comics: if these are all just comics that tell some story-in-a-vacuum about the way in which various characters die, with little-to-no deference to a more immersive and interesting story, then all of these books are pointless!
Okay, so it's not a total bust: seeing Bloodshot fighting pirates, robots, and dinosaurs in the span of a single issue is a lot of fun, and Braithwaite and Reber make all of these disparate scenes come to life on the page.
But I just don't care. Really, I promise that I don't, and that you probably won't either. This is not a story: this is a series of sound bites from one man's life. Sure, it's an extraordinary life, but a life is not a story just because it ends. It is especially not a story when the end--death, the most familiar ending of all--is particularly uninteresting.
I, unlike many of my fellow Bastards, quite liked Death of Wolverine: he's my favorite character and I thought his final moments were leveraged in such a way that they cut right through all the bull shit around the character and got to the heart of what Wolverine meant to the readers, his friends, and the Marvel world. But that was his actual death, his actual departure from the Marvel Universe (for now), not some flash-forward free of context. For me to care about a character's future death, you would have to go full Daredevil: End of Days and steep the character's death in a greater mystery.
But Fall of Bloodshot is nothing but a montage leading to nowhere. There is no reason to buy this comic unless you are interested in ignoring the story and studying the art. Maybe Valiant has more planned for this outing, but you shouldn’t have to pay four bucks just to wait to find out.
Book of Death: The Fall of Bloodshot Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Doug Braithwaite Colorist: Rafael Sandoval Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/22/15 Format: One-Shot; Print/Digital